New SF bookstore devoted to rescuing out-of-print sf books and making them into free ebooks

Discuss

30 Responses to “New SF bookstore devoted to rescuing out-of-print sf books and making them into free ebooks”

  1. Guido says:

    I wish they’d rescue ORA:CLE. I feel it is unfairly forgotten, and in some aspects, describes a lot of our daily life and telework. But is has no ninjas, so, forgotten it is.

  2. Michael_J_Walsh says:

    ORA:CLE by Kevin O’Donnell, Jr?  Published in 1984 by Berkley?  Hey, suggest it to them!

    • Guido says:

      Yeah, that one. To me, that book is way better than Neuromancer (and I loved Neuromancer). You gotta be a genius to make the plot work and make it interesting even if the hero never goes outside his condo. 

      I was going to suggest it, but at this moment, cannot really afford the subscription level they are asking to be able to submit. SO I post it here and maybe somebody thinks it’s a good idea.

    • Ash says:

      Consider it suggested.

  3. When Google tried this it did not work out so well.

    • Jens Alfke says:

      Google’s plan was to publish the orphan works first, and take them down if a copyright owner appeared out of the woodwork (or pay royalties to said owner.) A good plan but did not survive contact with the enemy.

      S&Co. are apparently looking up the copyright holders _first_, before publishing. That may be hard to do, but if they send out feelers for lots of books in parallel, they may be able to get one or two a month cleared.

      • Ash says:

        Yep, that’s what we’re doing. It’s a bit labor intensive, but with our strong and ever growing subscriber base, we’re happy to do it. Plus, we get to play sci fi book detectives and pretend it’s work.

  4. Having access to out of print books of all types is always a good thing.

  5. mjd says:

    I think you should amend the title of this post to remove the word “free”. Their about page says that the ebooks will be free as in “little or no cost”. Their legal page says “The license for each ebook distributed by the Companies may vary, and you must comply with the terms of each individual ebook’s license.” And you don’t appear to be able to download any books from them without going through a registration wall.

    It’s nice they’re rescuing out of print books from oblivion, but there doesn’t seem to be any solid commitment to free-as-in-freedom, or even free-as-in-zero-cost (or for that matter privacy) in their operation.

    • Saltine says:

      Yes. Since Ash seems to be watching, I’d like to hear what Singularity & Co. think “free” is supposed to mean, given the context of subscribing to suggest books and paying for the eventual book. I’m glad this is being done, but why and how is it being called “free”?

      • Saltine says:

        To make it clear for others: “free” access only comes once you make a minimum contribution. It’s like the “free” mug you get if you donate to NPR, I guess.

  6. Clifton says:

    Ash:
    Re your current list, I am quite sure Octavia Butler’s Lilith’s Brood is in print and available, since I’ve been reading the trilogy this year, and it’s also in a Kindle edition (search on Amazon), so IMHO you have slim odds of getting the rights. 

    On the positive side, you’ve got some truly great books on your current list which I’m sure many modern SF fans have never heard of.  Pavane, for one, is an understated and under-rated masterpiece of alt history.  Needle is a classic of cat-and-mouse.  John D. MacDonald – I don’t know the novel you list, but I’d go for Wine of the Dreamers as the first choice of his SF to bring back in print.

    Is The Final Programme really out of print?  It’s hard to believe, but on a quick search, it does look as if all of the Jerry Cornelius novels, and the various compendia of them, might be out of print.  Huh.

    May I recommend the writer Margaret St. Clair to your attention, especially The Shadow People? Obscure, but still pretty easy to find used, and it’s aged remarkably well in my opinion (even the political climate of the setting.)

  7. TheMudshark says:

    Looks like someone didn´t clean up their vectors before putting an outline on that logo. Great project though!

  8. Illudium_Phosdex says:

    It’s borderline SF, but nonetheless I’d cast my vote for Charles G. Finney’s The Unholy City.

  9. Recluse says:

    COOL!!! A real life “Cemetary of Forgotten Books” a la Carlos Ruiz Zafon!

  10. LILemming says:

    Wow, I’m shocked at some of the stuff that’s out of print.  I hope that someday they can turn their attention to the old WINSTON SF collection.  That was an excellent gateway drug, and the handful I’ve bene able to re-find (hey, THE YEAR STARDUST FELL is on Gutenberg?  squee!) have held up pretty well.

    Meanwhile, I continue to hope to stumble across FIVE AGAINST VENUS and ATTACK FROM ATLANTIS at a yard sale.  .  .

  11. My father and I have a large collection of SciFi/Fantasy books, many of them from the 60s/70s. Next time I visit (my books live with him, because my apartment just isn’t big enough), is there any way I can look up which are out of print and contribute to the project?

    • Cyran0 says:

      “is there any way I can look up which are out of print”

      The same thought occurred to me as I read through the comments.

      Is there an online source to determine—with some haste, might I add—if a book I happen upon at a yard sale is out of print?

      • Worldcat.org is a decent source for that kind of info. You can search for a book, see all editions, and which libraries near you have it on hand. It takes a little poking around and searching to get the print info, but it’s a solid resource.

  12. Michael_J_Walsh says:

    One of the “adventures” in trying to reprint older material is dealing with copyright status.

    Luckily SFWA (i.e. Bud Webster) has been developing a list of estates: http://www.sfwa.org/hidden-pages/estates-contact-information/

    That said, there are some estates that are in some sort of limbo, see http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2006/10/important-and-pass-it-on.html

  13. rmstallman says:

    >From the stated plans, I can’t tell whether these ebookswill respect readers’ freedom as much as printed books do.See http://stallman.org/ebooks.pdf for what the issues are.Can anyone tell whether these books might have DRM?Can anyone tell whether these books might have EULAs?

  14. David Keith says:

    You should do this project from a less expensive location.
    All this kickstarter money will going paying for crazy NYC rents! 
    Move to the mid-west!  You’ll have a much easier time getting this business going.

  15. Simon Bucher-Jones says:

    Not SF but Merlin’s Magic by Helen Clare is not only out of print but second hand copies sell at >£1,500 .  I’d happily pay £50 for an e-copy.

  16. Mia Kleve says:

    My boyfriend would love to see The Time of the Hedrons by Jack Dennis Eckstrom published in e-book format!

  17. Paul says:

    Would love “Down to a Sunless Sea” by David Graham

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